ASSESSMENTS

Israel Confronts Its Changing Demographics

MIN READApr 23, 2018 | 08:00 GMT

Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men block a road as they take part in a demonstration against army conscription on March 8, 2018 in Jerusalem. In September 2017, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Haredi youth must serve in the country's military.

(AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images)

Demographers have long warned that the balance between Israeli Jews and Arab Palestinians would define Israel's future. Now these warnings are bearing out. On March 25, the Israeli army presented Israel's parliament, the Knesset, with census data indicating that some 6.5 million to 6.7 million Arab Palestinians now live within the borders of the 1948 British-run mandate, a population equal to or larger than the area's Jewish population. The report revived concerns that the expanding Palestinian population would fundamentally change Israel's strategic situation, forcing it to either annex this population, allow a Palestinian state or develop an oppressive occupation regime that would result in its global diplomatic isolation. But the Palestinians are not Israel's biggest demographic worry. ...

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